Actor, Singer, Comedian. Currently stars on hit TV series Nashville

Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Charles “Chip” Esten grew up in Alexandria, VA.  After starting his acting career in Los Angeles, he was pleased to make his theatrical debut in London, portraying Buddy Holly in the hit West End musical “Buddy.” In that role, he was honored to perform for H.R.M Queen Elizabeth and then, for President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush at both The Kennedy Center and The White House.

Esten currently stars in the hit television series “NASHVILLE” in the role of Deacon Claybourne.  While on "Nashville”, Esten has been honored to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, the historic Ryman Auditorium, the Blue Bird Café, headlining a St. Jude Country Music Marathon Concert at the Bridgestone Arena, and performing on the CMA Fest Riverfront Stage.  In addition, he has starred in the 2014, 2015 , and 2016 “NASHVILLE in Concert” tour with sold out shows across the US and the UK.  

He is a featured artist on the nine very successful "Nashville" soundtracks that have been released to date, two of which include “I Know How to Love You Now” which he co-wrote with Deana Carter. Esten has long contemplated releasing an album or an EP of his originals.  Last summer, he decided that instead, he will be releasing brand new singles “every single Friday.”  The #EverySingleFriday series began in July 2016 and Esten says will last until he “runs out of music.”

He is proud to serve as the National Light the Night Walk Honorary Chair for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Esten and his wife have two daughters and a son.

EVP, Partner, Venue Coalition, Inc

Andrew Prince has extensive experience in various roles within the live touring industry, most notably as promoter, producer, talent buyer and venue booking representative. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Venue Coalition and is focused on identifying new business and programming opportunities for its member venues. Andrew has played a key role in the in the growth and development of Venue Coalition since its inception. He is also a graduate of IAVM's Venue Management School and has a great passion for live events and confirming shows!

Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, VenuWorks

John Siehl entered the public assembly industry 52 years ago in 1965 at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. In 1990 he joined the staff at the Ervin J Nutter Center, retiring from the Nutter Center in 2010 as Executive Director.

Siehl is currently the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for VenuWorks.

Siehl joined IAVM in 1978 and has held the CFE designation since 1995, Siehl is also a Past Chair of IAVM. He is currently on the Certification Board for IAVM. Within the IAVM, Siehl served as Chair of the Board of Education, and Chair of the Life Safety Council. Siehl also served as Chair of the Board of Governors, on the Universities and Arenas Committees.

He is a past chairman of AVSS and the Safety and Security Committee. Siehl has been an active participant since its inception, as a student and subsequently joining the faculty. He also has been on the Board of Regents and faculty of the Venue Management School.

At Wright State, Siehl received the President’s Award for Excellence in Human Relations in 2001; also in 2001 Siehl received the Dayton Business Journal’s Corporate Caring Award, as well as the Fairborn Chamber President’s Award and the Beavercreek Civic Award in 2008.

Agent, CAA

Brian Hill has been an agent for nearly 25 years. He loves the clients and his coworkers at CAA but would much rather talk about his awesome wife and four nearly-perfect children.

Associate Director, Events, National Basketball Association

Micah’s interest in a venue management career began during college by managing a collegiate hockey team as a student employee. From that experience his interest grew into working for two NBA franchises, two Olympic games, and coordinating venue logistics for events around the globe. Now working for the National Basketball Association, he is responsible for assisting to carry out NBA marquee events such as the NBA Finals, All-Star weekend, NBA Draft Combine, as well as the NBA’s Global Games series of pre-season exhibition games held internationally in places such as: London, Mexico City, Turkey, Brazil, China, and South Africa. He holds a M.S. in Sports Management from Columbia University and is also employed as a part-time associate instructor at Columbia University as well.

Chief Administrative Officer, Georgia World Congress Center Authority

Jennifer LeMaster is Chief Administrative Officer of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, presiding over finance, human resources, communications and marketing. In addition, she is responsible for facilitating the Authority’s 2020 Vision strategic plan.

LeMaster joined the Authority in 2007 serving in the Georgia Dome’s premium sales and service units, external affairs and administration. Prior to her current position, she was the Authority’s director of communications, serving as the public affairs lead on major public-private partnership initiatives, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, renovations to Centennial Olympic Park, and an expansion of the Georgia World Congress Center’s exhibit halls.

Before moving to Atlanta, LeMaster spent 10 years working at the University of Kentucky (UK), where she guided the establishment of the university’s sports hall of fame in 2005, inducting the inaugural class. She also produced more than a dozen high-profile annual events, including UK’s beloved basketball kick-off, Midnight Madness, and other state-wide branding and engagement opportunities.

A native of Ashland, Ky., LeMaster earned a dual degree in Communications and Political Science from UK. LeMaster and her husband, Zach Whipple, reside in Decatur, Ga. and have two children, Brennan, 7 and Marlee, 3.

Director of Event Services, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts

With Portland’5 Centers for the Arts since 2004, Joe Durr oversees front of house operations, safety, security and admissions for the five theatres of “P5.” Each year P5 hosts over 900,000 people at 900+ performances of symphony, ballet, opera, Broadway, lectures, theatre and dance.

A former professional dancer, Joe’s prior career includes 15 years as a fund raiser and development officer for non-profits and higher education. He has completed IAVM’s Venue Management School at Oglebay (years 1 & 2, and Graduate Institute) as well completing two years of the Academy for Venue Safety and Security. Past chair of the IAVM Mentoring Committee, Joe currently serves on IAVM’s GuestX and VenueConnect planning committees.

General Manager, ENMAX Centre

25 years experience as Sales & Marketing Manager and General Manager of various facilities that include Convention Center, Theatre, and Arena, all in Canada. Have been involved in a series of Change Management and Business Structures for different venue organizations and associations, and have worked with employees that are union and non union, civic, private, and contracted.

Event and Facility Operations Manager, Kennesaw State University Sports and Entertainment

David Bennett is the Event and Facility Operations Manager for Kennesaw State University’s Department of Sports and Entertainment. He supervises event logistics, facility operations, and security management for multiple venues across two campuses, including the KSU Sports and Entertainment Park and Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Regular events include KSU Football, Soccer, and Lacrosse, Major League Lacrosse (Atlanta Blaze), Concerts, Tournaments, and Festivals. Prior to working at Kennesaw State, David served as the Associate Director of Facilities and Operations at Clemson University, and the Technical Operations Coordinator at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.

David holds both a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University. He recently earned the Certified Venue Professional designation and was recognized as a member of the International Association of Venue Manager’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2016. David is also a graduate of IAVM’s Academy for Venue Safety and Security, and is active on the University Committee.

Venue Manager, Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center

Alex Keen is the Venue Manager of the Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center. Alex supervised the final construction and grand opening of the MCC Performing Arts Center in the fall of 2014 and currently oversees front-of-house and technical operations for 200+ events and productions per year in the facility. Alex worked on 20+ productions at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine including technical direction of Damn Yankees, South Pacific and Miss Saigon. He served as an Adjunct Faculty member and Technical Coordinator for 15+ productions at Scottsdale Community College. Alex is an ETCP Certified Rigger – Theatre, NFPA Rope Rescue Technician Level I/II, and is a graduate of IAVM Venue Management School. He is active with IAVM and serves on the IAVM Venue Safety and Security Committee as well as the IAVM University Committee.

Alex holds a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University (Summa Cum Laude) and completed a season-long Production Apprenticeship at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Security Management from the University of Denver.

Deputy Manager II, Big Fresno Fair

Stacy Rianda attended California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business. In 1987, Stacy began working for fairs in the livestock department and immediately fell in love with the industry and the people. Before she even graduated from college Stacy began working with the Tulare County Fair in Tulare, CA and was there from 1991 – 2000. She is currently the Deputy Manager of the Big Fresno Fair in Fresno, CA where she has been employed since 2001.

Stacy has been a member of the Rotary Club of Fig Garden for sixteen years and is a past president of the club. She has also served on the board of California Women for Agriculture, Fresno Area Crime Stoppers and the Pop Laval Foundation. Professionally, Stacy served on the board of the Western Fairs Association from 2008 – 2014 as well as the California Fairs Alliance Board.

As the Deputy Manager of The Big Fresno Fair, what Stacy enjoys most is “doing a little bit of everything.” No two days are ever the same!

Director of Event Experiences, Spectra Venue Management at the St. Charles Convention Center

Angie started at the St. Charles Convention Center as an Event Manager in 2007 and was promoted to Director in 2011. When asked her favorite thing about her job, Angie replied, "Constantly learning. There is always something new in our ever-changing industry." Angie loves that the staff at the convention center are like her family and explains, "Everyone will jump in and bring you up if you are down as well as offer up different perspectives and ideas." Angie is currently serving as the Region 3 Director of IAVM and sits on the Executive Committee. She lives for weekends at the Lake of the Ozarks and loves watching her kids grow, learn and experience life.

Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky

Jill Schinberg is an Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky. She started her professional career at Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa and has subsequently held positions with Bay Area music promoter Another Planet Entertainment, Festival Internacional de Videodanza in Buenos Aires, Rena Shagan Associates in New York, and (most recently) Cal Performances in Berkeley. Along with producing and directing, she has served as a consultant to emerging arts organizations, venues, and dance companies in the United States and South America.

Schinberg researches gender gap issues in arts administration along with the notion of presenter as aesthetic gatekeeper. The gender gap in American society has always been part of her consciousness; now, as an ‘expat’ from a 25-year career in arts administration, she explores the dynamics and impact of gender disparities through her scholarship. She also studies the interdependent, and sometimes mysterious, relationships amongst contemporary audiences, artists, and presenters. Through consultancies and ongoing participation in the industry, she continues not only to research but also to seek opportunities for consultation and curation.

Schinberg holds an MFA in Modern Dance with an emphasis on Aesthetics and Arts Management from the University of Utah and BAs in both Spanish and Latin American Literature and Culture and Dance from the University of Iowa. She is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers and the Association of Arts Administration Educators.

Principal, Event Partnership

In 1995 Brian, began his career in the professional sports industry with the Golden State Warriors. Several years later he transitioned to a position with the Sacramento Kings selling Corporate Sponsorships, a move that allowed him to hone his craft and cement his reputation as an astute sales and marketing professional. In 2001, Brian re-focused his career by looking outside of the professional sports industry and founded Honebein & Associates. That very same year he was awarded the contract to sell sponsorships for the California State Fair, as well as several other events throughout Northern California. These early ventures proved tremendously successful, and provided Brian with a solid foundation upon which he’s built throughout his career; in January 2012 the rapid growth of his business necessitated re-branding and Event Partnership, LLC was established.

Brian is very innovative, energetic and passionate about his career in sales and marketing. He’s highly regarded and trusted as a resource for event sponsorship and has conducted seminars for CalFest and the Western Fair Association Annual Conference and Managers Conference. Through the duration of his seventeen year sponsorship sales career, he has sold well over $53,000,000 in corporate sponsorships—an impressive figure that’s truly a testament to his tireless work ethic.

President/CEO, Walton Arts Center

Peter joined Walton Arts Center in May 2009. Since then Walton Arts Center has tripled in size and has grown to become Arkansas’ premier arts presenter. More than 342,600 people attend events at Walton Arts Center venues annually, and the organization’s education programs reach 45,000 students, teachers and citizens statewide. Walton Arts Center serves as home to four resident companies.

Under his leadership, Walton Arts Center opened the state’s largest outdoor entertainment venue, the Walmart AMP, one of Pollstar’s 2016 Top 60 best-selling amphitheaters in the country and recently completed a $24 million campaign to renovate and expand Walton Arts Center’s performing arts campus.

During his tenure Peter has overseen the creation of The Artosphere Festival, a month-long celebration of arts and nature. Signature programs such as Trail Mix - a series of free concerts along the regions extensive trail system and the Artosphere Festival Orchestra with Maestro Corrado Rovaris have received national acclaim. Lane also developed the 10x10 Arts Series, a presentation of 10 arts performances with all tickets at $10 and spearheaded VoiceJam, a new a cappella festival with Deke Sharon. Peter came to Northwest Arkansas from previous leadership positions with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall.

Chief Executive Officer, OC Fair & Event Center

Kathy Kramer joined the OC Fair & Event Center in January of 2015 as CEO. The OC Fair & Event Center produces the annual OC Fair each summer that attracts over 1.3 million guests. In addition the 150 acre facility plays host to over 150 event days annually and is home to Centennial Farm, Hero’s Hall Museum and the Agricultural Workers Memorial – Table of Dignity. Kathy is a Board Member of the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member of the nonprofit Taller San Jose and is part of the International Association of Venue Managers Fair and Amphitheater Committee. She is a member of IAVM, IAFE, IFEA and WFA. She was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in Orange County in 2016. Kathy comes from a diverse background in for-profit, government and not-for-profit organizations, holding key roles in the areas of strategic planning, sales & marketing, venue operations, production of major events and corporate sponsorship. Her previous position was with Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where she was the Vice President of Business Operations. She was also Deputy Director of the Phoenix Convention Center and Venues, Vice President of Convention Sales & Marketing for Century Link Center in Omaha, Midwest Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for Six Continents Hotels and Resorts and Director of Sales & Marketing for Harrah’s Casino and Hotel. She holds a CFE (Certified Facility Executive) from the International Association of Venue Managers and is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

Senior Director of Ticket Operations, Bridgestone Arena

Lonnie Wilkerson is the Director of Ticket Operations for the Nashville Predators and the Bridgestone Arena, and has been involved in ticketing for several years. Prior to his position, he worked at various venues in Nashville doing everything from being a stagehand to merch seller and anything in between.

Operations Analyst, Georgia State University

Todd Ballew has a strong background in the operations and management of sporting events and large spectator gatherings, working as an Assistant Athletic Director for Operations for nearly a decade. As part of these duties, Todd worked as the user’s representative on several capital improvement projects for sporting venues. Todd’s background brings a unique perspective to the Heery organization. His practical experience in event management and project responsibility from the “client-side” blended with his experience from the “provider-side” affords both client and staff with a true understanding of sport facility goals. Todd is the Operations Analyst for GSU Stadium redevelopment project working closely with the user group and the design team to ensure functional efficiency.

Todd has a Master’s Degree in Athletics Administration and has worked in Athletic Programs at Clemson University, Florida State University, and University of Tulsa.

President & CEO, APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals

In October 2011, Mario Garcia Durham became the fifth President and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) since its founding in 1957.

Prior to his leadership role with APAP, Mr. Durham was posted at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) where he served as Director of Artist Communities & Presenting from 2004 – 2011. At the NEA, Mr. Durham contributed to programs such as An Evening of Poetry hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama and the NEA Opera Honors. He inaugurated the NEA’s Artist Communities granting program and was the initiator of Live from Your Neighborhood, a groundbreaking study of the impact of outdoor arts festivals in the U.S. After holding numerous management positions and serving as artistic director at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 1990s, he founded Yerba Buena Arts & Events in 2000, the producing organization of the annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. The outdoor event offers more than 100 free performances by the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Ballet and more for an audience of 100,000 attendees.

Throughout his career of over 20 years as a presenter, Mr. Durham has served on numerous boards, special advisory committees and funding panels. He is currently on the board of the Alliance of Artist Communities and Data Arts (formerly the Cultural Data Project). Durham serves as vice chair of the Performing Arts Alliance, a board of the leaders of the major performing arts service organizations in the U.S. Durham had previously served on the APAP Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee. He is on the Community Advisory Council of the PBS station WETA in Washington, DC.

A graduate of the University of Houston, Durham is passionate about a broad range of performing arts and evolving forms of performance and media arts.

Executive Director, VenuWorks

Scott has worked almost 20 years for VenuWorks in a number of facilities in the Midwest. His entire career in the entertainment and sports industry has spanned over twenty-five years serving various positions with a wide range of organizations including the NHL Minnesota North Stars, St. Paul Saints, NBA San Antonio Spurs, MLB Colorado Rockies, NCAA Division I Hockey, United States Hockey League, Central Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and currently with NCAA Division I Basketball and Southern Professional Hockey League. His experience has not limited to the sports side of the business, but also extends into privately owned arenas, historic theatres and numerous multi-use facilities. Scott has been married to his wife Annie for 22 years and is father to twin nine-year-old boys and a six-year-old daughter. During his off time, Scott enjoys traveling with his family, playing hockey and alpine mountain climbing

Marketing and PR Manager, Music City Center

Mary Brette Wylly is the Marketing & PR Manager for the Music City Center (MCC). She has been with the convention center since the building opened in 2013 and oversees the public relations and sustainability departments. She works closely with the Sustainability Coordinator to effectively communicate the sustainable initiatives and successes at the Music City Center as well as organize all community outreach efforts. Mary Brette is a member of the Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and she earned a Bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

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